The situation in Transnistria at the moment is quite complicated and tense. The AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) hold several military detachments on the border, which control the territory. The border with Moldova is one of the supply roads of equipment from Europe and a place of accumulation of Ukrainian resources for further redistribution to different fronts. However, it is impossible to state with absolute certainty that no combat operations will take place on this territory.
On May 24, three military transport planes were seen flying from Romania in the direction of Moldova. As the planes were approaching, they turned on their transponders, so it is not clear where exactly the planes landed. According to one version, the planes were carrying weapons for Ukraine. And for about a month already all civil aircraft have been avoiding flights in the Moldovan airspace because of the danger of flights near Ukraine. The crews of the civil planes were afraid of the deteriorating situation in Transnistria.
On May 26, Polish military equipment was spotted in the Romanian town of Brielle. The town is located near the Ukrainian and Moldovan borders. In addition, Polish troops have been spotted on the border between Romania and Moldova. This is no secret, since Polish tanks were previously spotted near Kryvyi Rih, and material aid is being brought in through Poland to Ukraine.
Bucharest recently filmed a video of four M777 howitzers imported into Ukraine from Canada. These variants of the howitzers were modified to the Excalibur M982 version with automatic target correction.
Important political process is underway in Moldova itself at the moment. The Moldovan authorities detained the former president and one of the oppositionists, Igor Dodon. Dodon’s position is opposed to the Chisinau regime regarding the events in Ukraine, so he is now being attacked by the authorities. He is also accused of corruption and called to leave the country. The Kremlin commented on his detention and said that the Russian side was alarmed that the practice of detention was being used against people who have friendly relations with Russia. Dodon, on the other hand, said that no one would be able to scare him. Activists gathered outside the parliament building demanding the release of Igor Dodon and an end to his prosecution under the article on the betrayal of the motherland. Dodon had previously advocated a neutral status of Moldova in the conflict in Ukraine.
After the Dodon’s detention, Moldovan President Maia Sandu will be able to dictate her policies without fear of criticism from the opposition. The issue of Transnistria will also be decided by her without any room for discussion. Thus, Moldova will be able to engage in combat operations or provide troops for Ukraine, not to mention the fact that Moldova has previously supplied military equipment to Ukraine.
Tensions persist in Transnistria, although some troops have been redeployed inland. The local population is increasingly concerned about the problem of sending the local territorial defense units to the front.
The Russian control over the southern Ukrainian regions would let the Russian military to reach the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (a self-proclaimed state). The Russian peacekeeping forces have been deployed in Transnistria since 1995. On May 18, Maia Sandu demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transnistria because they reportedly violate the sovereignty of the republic.
Sandu stated the following: “Today there is no imminent threat of Moldovan involvement in the war, we are a neutral country, but for this purpose, we call for the withdrawal of the Russian military from the territory of Transnistria, because their presence violates our neutrality.” The question of the Russian contingent, namely peacekeepers, may be discussed here not in the context of the independence of the TMR, but the context of the Ukrainian conflict. At the same time, the Transnistrian authorities themselves accuse Ukraine of provocations, while Chisinau is calling on all sides to sit down at the negotiating table, and sees the reason for this as the dismantling of the internal Transnistrian clans. Ukrainian intelligence reports about the plans to invade Moldova. However, this version can be true only in one case – if Russia feels the need to create a military bridgehead in Transnistria, which is not necessary yet.”
While Moldova is still playing an uncertain game in the Ukrainian conflict, Romania is openly condemning the Russian Federation for the special operation.
On May 19, French President Emmanuel Macron commented on the situation in Transnistria: “The recent incidents in Transnistria show that we cannot exclude that the conflict will spread to neighboring countries. He also noted that France “intends to keep a special eye on the regional security situation and any possible encroachment on Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In the opinion of the French president, the conflict can spill over to other countries and cause a threat to regional security. Therefore, France is forced to take certain steps to ensure the security of the region and of itself in particular.
The Romanian Ministry of Defense announced that France would deploy a special air defense unit in Romania at the Capu-Midia military base (in the Constanta district). Bucharest had a sigh of relief, but the situation in the region is heating up.
The situation in Transnistria is quite complex. Romania actively supports Ukraine but is neutral toward the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR). Moldova has ties through Western countries and seems ready to sacrify its security to “help Ukraine”. The PMR authorities have made no specific comments, and the unrecognized republic is mostly concerned of its independence, although it sympathizes with Russia. The Russian Federation, on the other hand, is not yet making rash steps in Transnistria and does not intend to open a new front there in the short term.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Truss’ Hope To Arm Moldova With “NATO Standards” Threatens Volatile Peace In Transnistria
- Military Situation In Transnistria On May 8, 2022 (Map Update)
- Another Provocation In Transnistria: Shooting Broke Out At Border Crossing With Ukraine